Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: All Played Out (Rusk Universtiy #3) by Cora Carmack!

All Played Out - Tour banner

I am absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Cora Carmack’s ALL PLAYED OUT! ALL PLAYED OUT is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and is the 3rd book in the Rusk University Series, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.

All Played Out - cover

All Played Out Review/Excerpt Tour
May 7
BookAngelBooktopia-Review & Excerpt
Book Vigilante Reviews-Review & Excerpt
DanaSquare-Review & Excerpt
Britt’s Book & Life Blog-Review & Excerpt
Love at First Page-Review & Excerpt
LuloFangirl-Review & Excerpt
Red Hot + Blue Reads-Review & Excerpt
The Book Hammock-Review & Excerpt
WanderLust Book Reviews-Review & Excerpt
May 8
Ali’s Reviews & More-Review & Excerpt
Bloggers[Heart]Books-Review & Excerpt
BookCrushin-Review & Excerpt
Fictitious Delicious-Review & Excerpt
Kindle and Me-Review & Excerpt
NC 2 DC-Review
Sanaa’s Book Blog-Review & Excerpt
The Reading Realm-Review & Excerpt
May 9
May 10
Anatea’s Bookshelf-Review & Excerpt
BookStacked Blog-Review & Excerpt
Behind Closed Covers-Review & Excerpt
buttermybooks-Review & Excerpt
What a Nerd Girl Says-Review & Excerpt
May 11
Always YA At Heart-Review & Excerpt
Book Briefs-Review
Books by Migs-Review & Excerpt
Prisoners of Print-Review & Excerpt
Travels N Reads-Review & Excerpt
Words With Sarah-Review & Excerpt
May 12
Book Labyrinth-Review & Excerpt
Margay Leah Justice-Review & Excerpt
Reviews by Tammy & Kim-Review & Excerpt
Vi3tbabe-Review & Excerpt
May 13
Book Sojourner-Review & Excerpt
Bridger Bitches Book Blog-Review & Excerpt
Grown Up Book Reviews-Review & Excerpt
Read Between the Books-Review & Excerpt
Reese’s Review-Review & Excerpt
What Sarah Read-Review & Excerpt
Romance Addict Book Blog-Review & Excerpt
Reading is Sexy-Review & Excerpt
May 14
Bibliobelles-Review & Excerpt
Hopeless Book Lovers-Review & Excerpt
Ripe For Reader-Review & Excerpt
Stay Bookish-Review & Excerpt
May 15
Book Bitches Blog-Review & Excerpt
Books and Swoons-Review and Excerpt
Jen in Bookland-Review & Excerpt
I Dare You To Read-Review & Excerpt
Lost in Lit-Review & Excerpt
Zili in the Sky-Review & Excerpt
The Slanted Bookshelf-Review & Excerpt
Stuck in Books-Review & Excerpt
May 16
Closet Geeks and Slow Mo-Review & Excerpt
Dark Obsession Chronicles-Review & Excerpt
Making It Happen-Review & Excerpt
Mia’s Point of View-Review & Excerpt
In Clouds of Pages-Review & Excerpt
That Book Life-Review & Excerpt
First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….
With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).
So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.
Item #1? Hook up with a jock.
Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.
Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.
Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.
Rusk University

And don’t miss the first two books in the Rusk University Series…

All Lined Up


All Broke Down


ACO announcement

HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack:
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.


He calls Carson, and that’s when I get the real explanation.
Nell is drunk, and Dylan doesn’t want to leave her home alone. When he hangs up the phone, I can’t hide my shock. “Nell is drunk? The Nell that lives with Dylan?”
“Wasted, apparently.”
“I’m in,” I say, and when we both look at Brookes, he’s watching me. And I can tell by the look he’s giving me that he knows I’ve got something going on with Nell and doesn’t approve. I lift an eyebrow in the most casual so-what? gesture I can offer.
He nods. “Sure. I’ll come.” But the words are said to me not to Silas, and I get the feeling what he actually means is, Sure. I’ll come watch and make sure Torres doesn’t do anything stupid.
We tell Silas to go on ahead, and we’ll come along in a few minutes. But as soon as Brookes is in his room, I jog after Silas, and catch him as he’s getting into his truck. “You mind if I catch a ride with you?” I lie, “Brookes got a call, and he’s gonna be a bit.”
While Silas drives, he has me text Brookes and McClain the address. Brookes wants to know why I left with Silas, but I’m not about to tell him that I didn’t want to spend the car ride with him harping on me to leave Nell alone.
Because I can’t leave her alone. I just can’t.
Silas parks the truck, and I follow him up a metal and concrete staircase to a second-floor apartment. He opens the door without knocking, and that’s when I see Nell standing on the coffee table with some big red-haired dude, singing Spice Girls at the top of her lungs. We step inside just as she’s telling him what to do if he wants to be her lover.
I think of her list. She told me getting drunk was on it, and all of a sudden I’m furious that this guy got to help her check that task off instead of me. “Nell,” I say, before I think better of it. She twists to see me, and her socked feet slide on the coffee table, and then she’s stumbling into the ginger giant, and both of them are going down. I dart forward, but I can’t catch up to her. They hit the ground with a thud, a groan, and Nell’s too-cute giggles. She’s lying right on top of him, and he has his hands on her bare back where her shirt has ridden up from the yoga pants that fit her like a fucking miracle.
She lays her head in the crook of his neck like she’s completely forgotten that I’m here. If I stopped to think, I’d have known how crazy it would look to storm over and tear her off the guy. I would realize what my actions would mean to Silas and Dylan. But I don’t think. I just know I can’t spend one more second watching her snuggled up against this guy without losing my mind. She squeals as I pull her up into my arms, and I don’t think her feet are even touching the ground.
“You okay?” I ask, but all she does is laugh again and lay her head on my chest. I catch a whiff of alcohol, a strong one, and I realize she really is completely smashed. She probably doesn’t have a clue who she’s snuggling up against. Probably can’t even tell the difference between me and whoever the fuck is on the floor.
But even if she doesn’t realize what she’s doing ... it feels damn good to have her wrapped around me again, and for a few seconds it dazes me. Then I look up to find everyone in the room watching us.
I lock eyes with Dylan and say, “How did this happen?”
“I’m still working on that. As far as I can tell, she decided she wanted to invent her own cocktail, and she enlisted our friend Matt’s help.” Ah. Matt. He’s one of Dylan’s activist friends. I didn’t realize he was close to Nell, too.  Nell points to him sprawled out on the floor and adds, “This is what happens when you spend all day trying lots of different mixes of alcohol.”
That seems to catch Nell’s attention enough to rouse her, because she pulls back and places both her small hands on my face.
“I figured it out. It took me a long time, but I got it. I call it Newton’s Third Law.”
“Uhh ...”
“Get it? Yours was Bad Decision. And mine... is Newton’s Third Law.” She descends into giggles again, and I scan my minimal science knowledge to try and remember what she’s talking about. I’d taken a physics course last year for my kinesiology major, but I just barely scraped by. Unlike high school, where I was concerned with keeping up to impress Lina, last year I’d been mostly focused on forgetting her.
“Is that the one about actions and reactions?”
“Exactly! Every action has an equal and . . .” She pauses and swallows, and man, she’s so far gone. “Reaction. Equal and opposite reaction. So … action.” She gestures to an empty cup on the bar, then to her own drunken state. “Reaction.”
Then she does this little move that’s halfway between a fist pump and a celebratory dance. She’s so fucking adorable, it actually hurts. Somewhere between my chest and my stomach there’s a knot that twists every time I see her. And I’m starting to enjoy it, the strange pleasure pain of wanting her. 

 My Review
All Played Out was such a fun book!  I think it’s my favorite out of all the Rusk University novels.  It wasn’t as serious and there wasn’t a lot of drama.  I mean, there was still some drama but not as much and not as much second guessing about the relationship.  Such a breath of fresh air!

The characters were everything to me in  All Played Out.  I connected with Nell so much it was scary.  I may not be as smart as she is or as obsessed with school but I honestly felt like I was reading about myself.  Her personality fit me to a tee.  Not really showing emotions, not having a social life, not really having a clue on how to get a social life.  I loved how she would make lists to try and stay organized and figure things out.  I just really loved everything about Nell.

I didn’t think I would love Torres as much as I did.  In the previous books, he was just kinda the class clown and where that’s awesome and I love class clowns, sometimes it gets to be too much.  But you learn why he does this.  His character has a lot of depth and isn’t the two dimensional character that we originally read about in the first two books. 

The whole plot was fun and entertaining.  A college bucket list.  I loved how Nell wanted to experiment and break out of her thick shell.  And the fact that Mateo helped her was so freaking sweet and he was so patient with her.  With everything.

All Played Out was everything I could ask for.  And now I really can’t wait for the next book, All Closed Off.  Stella’s story!  Finally! 

Characters 4.5/5
Plot 5/5
Feels 4/5
Writing 4.5/5
Overall 4.5/6

z-InkSlinger Blogger

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: All Broke Down (Rusk University #2) by Cora Carmack!

 Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

Description taken from Goodreads 

My Review

I absolutely love Cora Carmack.  I love her writing style, I love her characters.  I love everything.  But All Broke Down wasn’t my favorite by her.  I still adored it and I liked it a bit more than All Lined Up, but I just can’t quite put my finger on why it didn’t blow me away.

Garrick, from Losing It, will always be my favorite CC guy but Silas is close behind him.  Sure, he has a bit of a temper and uses violence to solve his problems but he’s honestly not a bad guy.  I’m definitely not defending his actions, I actually really hate when people use violence as the be all end all to a problem, but you saw a different side to him with Dylan and you could gradually see him trying to be a better person and sort out his issues.  That is definitely commendable.

Dylan, on the other hand, didn’t really win me over.  Not until we got to meet her parents and if you’ve read this book then you probably understand why.  Dylan is this goodie two shoes kind of girl and wants to fix everything and everyone and puts her nose in places where it doesn’t belong.  And that really bugs me because she just doesn’t know when to butt out.  I hate people like that.  But once we read more about her background and met her parents I finally understood her actions a bit more and finally got it.  And I definitely don’t like her parents.  Judgey douches.

I loved that we got to see some familiar faces from All Lined Up.  I really did appreciate that but I would have liked a bit more of an update, I guess.  I think I’m just being greedy, though.

I did enjoy the plot but it was a bit bland and a few of the smaller storylines didn’t really get completed.  I just wanted more and was a bit disappointed about that.  I think I might just be getting a little tired of the whole “boy and girl use each other to sort out their issues only to fall in love later on” trope.  Eh.

Other than a few complaints, I really did enjoy All Broke Down.  It’s a solid book and a great addition to any Cora Carmack fans’ bookcase.  

Characters 4/5
Plot 3.5/5
Feels 4/5
Writing 4.5/5
Overall 4/5

If you would like to purchase any of these books, please think about using my Book Depository affiliate link.  I'm currently unemployed and truly appreciate anything I can get.